The Sheep of Kephas

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-09-10

Here is Bulletin_2017-09-10

Be Advised: There will be no Mass or Communion Service on Monday, Sept. 11.



Vacation Over?? It would appear that our Pastor will be back for Masses on 14 and 15 September. But, there will be a visiting mission priest on 16 & 17 September, who will be preaching at all the Masses. Will our Pastor be there to celebrate those Masses??


Please join us in welcoming Fr. Randy Gonzales, a Missionhurst-CICM (the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) missionary who will be visiting our parish the weekend of September 16-17 to present a mission appeal. Fr. Randy is originally from the foreign mission of the Philippines and will be sharing his life and dedication to the people he serves with us. Fr. Randy will be preaching at all the masses and a second collection will be taken with proceeds going to Missionhurst-CICM.


Rebuilding the Tower of Babel: Now that the Pope’s new Motu Proprio “Magnum Principium” has been released, one could expect that there would be a positive reaction from the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP). (See Rebuilding the Tower of Babel – We will be “separated by the same language” and Rebuilding the Tower of Babel – ever “more radical”.)

There was. On the AUSCP Facebook page today there a single word response:


Dear friends, it won’t be tomorrow, but it will be soon – there will be changes in our missalettes – changes to the current translation. Dang! I forgot, our Pastor took away our missalettes. Nevertheless, you can be sure he will know when the changes are made – he and at least 1,200 other AUSCP members. Starting on Monday (or perhaps even today), many of those 1,200 plus priests will be lined up in the lobbies of chanceries throughout the country, seeking appointments with their bishops and armed with the AUSCP talking points we showed you in Rebuilding the Tower of Babel – We will be “separated by the same language”.

As my loving spouse of 45 years would ask – “How many souls will be saved?”


Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Our Lady of Akita, pray for us!

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!


Rebuilding the Tower of Babel – ever “more radical”

If you read our last post, Rebuilding the Tower of Babel – We will be “separated by the same language”, we alerted you to the rumor that a big change was coming. It is no longer a rumor – see what Fr. Z has to say –  New Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio changes law about preparation, approval of liturgical translations.

For links to the Latin text and English guidance notes to the Moto Proprio, go to – Moto proprio “Magnum Principium”

and here **Click here for the motu proprio in Latin

and here **Click here for the official guidance notes in English

In the English guidance notes you will find this:

The recognitio, mentioned in canon 838 §2, implies the process of recognising on the part of the Apostolic See legitimate liturgical adaptations, including those that are “more radical” (Sacrosanctum concilium 40), which the Episcopal Conferences can establish and approve for their territories within defined limits.

They will break out the champagne at AUSCP headquarters in Tiffin, Ohio tonight. And you can be sure, somewhere out there, our dear Pastor will be lifting a cold Stella Artois and toasting the prospect of the coming age of the “more radical”.

So, here’s to you, Father – “But now, God knows, Anything goes.”

Rebuilding the Tower of Babel – We will be “separated by the same language”

“England and America are two countries separated by the same language.”

After reading the article Speaking of storms on the horizon: Motu Proprio on approval of liturgical translations in Fr. Z’s Blog, my inner linguist and I held a rambling dialogue on how the actions of Association of the U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP) and its members may lead the English speaking Catholic world into greater separation and disunity.

If you like, you may read further and share in some of that rambling dialogue.

Actually: My beautiful spouse and I are trying to purge our speech of the useless and obnoxious filler word “actually.” When we catch ourselves falling into the trap of using it, we try to replace it with “factually.” Even if that substitution cannot atone for “linguistic sin”, the word “factually” at least signals that what is to follow comes from a reliable source.

Linguistic Sin: Factually, for some 50 years, my work has revolved around technical proficiency in two foreign languages. In addition to those two languages, I have been formally trained in three other languages. That includes two years of Latin. Be assured, I am no doctoral-level linguist. Nevertheless, my training in languages has put bread on our family table for 45 years.

My professional reputation is founded on my ability to interpret intended meaning and to convey that meaning faithfully to others in a different language. In my line of work, words, most assuredly, mean something. That is why I disagree with our Pastor and his beloved AUSCP. They do not have the same respect for words and their meanings that I do. They would rather abandon meaning because they are overly sensitive to “awkward grammar and diction.” – They would rather be wrong than stilted.

This is what the AUSCP Roman Missal Working Group and, by association and regular practice, our Pastor say about their Roman Missal Translation Concerns:

Purpose: To collect and voice the complaints of priests and laity about the awkward grammar and diction of the new Roman Missal’s “English translation” so as to move the USCCB Committee for Divine Worship to hear the concern and take steps to improve the texts used for our most important liturgical prayer.

Based on my observations and study of our Pastor’s frequent changes to the text of the Mass (many of which we have recorded here in this blog), I would say he either does not understand the original Latin or he does not agree with the meaning of the Latin terms he changes. Either way, he is in lock-step with his 1,200 brothers in the AUSCP.

As we have said before, “The AUSCP agenda is well served by our Pastor.”

In my line of work, when a translation intentionally changes the original meaning, it is a linguistic sin – a grave sin. People who commit that sin lose their jobs and their professional reputations.

This blog has established that our radical Pastor is an activist who is well versed in the Rules for Radical Pastors and other Saul Alinsky variations. I’m sure that he would be able to relate to the following guidance that appeared on the AUSCP site in April 2016.

The AUSCP Leadership Team is asking our members to become active in addressing the problems which so many are having with the New Roman Missal. The problems will multiply if Liturgiam authenticam continues to be used in the translation of other liturgical texts. WE NEED THE HELP AND LEADERSHIP OF OUR BISHOPS IN THIS MATTER.

Throughout the English speaking world, priests are on the front lines of church ministry. Every day we embrace the challenge to communicate and celebrate the gospel in “the language of our people.” We are expected to use the Roman Missal as it is. The “vernacular” used in the Roman Missal English translation has produced complicated and awkward phrasing and a strange vocabulary. The purpose of language is to communicate and build relationship. The language used in Eucharistic celebration should generate a sense of the sacral — not bewilderment and aggravation. To do our job well, we need good tools. The current translation of the Roman Missal using the translation method of Liturgiam authenticam has created a problematic tool.

And so, we encourage all members to request a “sit-down” and “face-to-face” meeting with their own bishop(s) (ordinaries & auxiliaries), not as a representative of AUSCP but as a concerned priest within their presbyterate serving the pastoral care of God’s People. These talking points may be helpful:

  1. Assure your bishops that displeasure with the New Missal is widespread among priests and the people of God as verified by a number of surveys.

  2. Prepare yourself by reviewing below a listing of commonly experienced problems and concerns submitted by our members. Please realize that sharing your own experience is of greatest value.

  3. Emphasize that priests cannot maintain their joy in presiding when so many texts in the Missal cause frustration and that, from a pastoral approach, the new Roman Missal is not found to be a good tool for effective ministry with God’s people.

  4. Beg for an intervention by your bishop(s) to:

    • Stop translating liturgical texts using the Liturgian authenticam method; and
    • To correct the translations we already have according to Liturgiam authenticam norms, especially the Missal and the Rites of Ordination.
  5. Above all, PLEAD for your bishop’s assistance in this matter, leaving with him, if prudent, a copy of the article Mission intelligible” by Fr. Michael Ryan. [Read the article carefully yourself by clicking HERE.

To every bishop in the United States, be prepared for this organized threat and please post your “No whining!” signs prominently.

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-09-03 – Supplemental

Here is Bulletin_2017-09-03

Pray for Our Schools: Following is an excerpt from a flyer in this week’s bulletin:

“Pray for Our Schools” Event
Members of the Rappahannock Clergy Association, after considering ways to encourage the community to keep students and schools in their thoughts and prayers as another school season begins, have come up with a couple of ideas. In addition to the following short prayer for our schools written to be used in local homes and churches, the RCA will be leading a community prayer service. The informal “Pray for Our Schools” service wil
l take place on Tuesday morning, September 5, from 7:30-8:30 AM in front of St. Peter Church, located near the schools along Route 211 as students return to school following the Labor Day Holiday. As students in Rappahannock County and across the nation begin a new school year, the RCA hopes this service will remind the community to pray for students and their families-as well as for the teachers, administrators, and other school employees and staff who together have the responsibility for teaching and caring for those students. All who are able are invited and encouraged to join with members of the RCA as they “Pray for our Schools” on September 5th.

We here at the Sheep of Kephas blog strongly agree that all should pray for our schools and the students attending our schools. It is understood, however, that we may not all be praying for the same things. In this case, the prayer to be said in front of St. Peter’s was composed by a member of the RCA who supports the LGBTQ& agenda.

A Prayer for Our Schools
[Written by Rev. Russ Savage, Unitarian Universalists of the Blue Ridge, Sperryville, VA]

The prayer itself is in no way controversial. We are merely trying to point out that, as you pray for the schools, consider that each and every child in our schools has an immortal soul – we should pray for an education that leads them to salvation. Remember:


As noted in our post For the Sheep in Exile – 2017-09-03, our Pastor will not be here to participate in the prayer.



For the Sheep in Exile – 2017-09-03

Here is Bulletin_2017-09-03

The Seat is Vacant – Again: In January this year, he was on a skiing vacation. In June, he was on a week-long journey to Atlanta for the AUSCP Assembly. From late-July to mid-August, he was on a trip to France and Belgium. And now there will be another one-week (probably two-week) absence. No reason is given by our Pastor, but since we have established that Father follows predictable patterns, there is reason to suspect that he will be enjoying a vacation at the beach.

September 2014: This was the last time the sheep of St. Peter’s were offered an explanation for Father’s yearly September two-week absences.


September 2015:


September 2016:


September 2017: There’s certainly no problem with taking a vacation … or two … oMass 2017-09-03.jpgr three … or four … Right???

Oh, but the year isn’t over yet.

No need to worry though, unlike Monday – Labor Day – when there will be no Mass at all, at least we can count on having Mass on Thanksgiving Day – – – just like we had last year. [For those who don’t remember, there was no Mass, just an ecumenical service.]

And since it is the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, we can be sure that Mass will be available on a Marian feast like the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 8. – – – Well, maybe not.

Fortunately our new DRE will be around to keep close tabs on preparation for this year’s religious education classes while Father is on vacation. [Father is our DRE.]

Folks, perhaps it’s just us and our “rigid”, ultra-conservative, old fashioned view of the role of a Pastor, but somehow it seems that the parishioners of St. Peter’s are getting the short end of the stick.

Sede Vacante.jpg

For the Sheep in Exile – 2017-08-27

Here is Bulletin_2017-08-27

Onward with the AUSCP Agenda: It’s time to say goodby to Fr. Richard Rohr. The guided tour of his book “Falling Upward” is now complete. And, though he has departed our parish for now, it seems certain that we will experience his influence next when Father returns from the AUSCP 2018 Assembly in Albuquerque, June 25-28 next year. Why is that? Well, of course, Fr. Richard Rohr will be a “featured speaker” at the assembly. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence, but we think not.

August 28th, the Monday morning group will be introduced to Sr. Laura Swan and her book “The Forgotten Desert Mothers”. No, Sr. Laura is no radical, progressive nun formed in the mold of Simone Campbell, in fact, many say her book has merit. The AUSCP agenda, however, is very strongly pushing for ordained women deacons (e.g. DeaconChat) and her book provides an historical framework for some of the supporting arguments. So, our Pastor is subtly introducing the Monday morning group to the concept and the argument for “change”.

The AUSCP agenda is well served by our Pastor.

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-08-20

Here is Bulletin_2017-08-20

Liturgy and Life: It’s always worthwhile to read what our former pastor  has to say on The Catholic Thing. This week, in the article Liturgy and Life, Fr. Pokorsky takes lessons from “liturgy” in the secular world and shows how they parallel “liturgy” when applied to the celebration of the Mass. Here is an excerpt:

A Mass should be “vibrant” only to the extent its reverence in celebration moves our souls to enter into an intimate union with Christ and His Mystical Body.

Sacred liturgy and ritual are both instructive and transformative. While it is profitable to consider the Mass from an academic stance, it is more profitable to enter into the Mass with a living faith, attentive to and engaged in the words and action. Our transformation in Christ through the liturgy is not magical; it is gradual and mystical, touching our minds, hearts, and emotions.


A new carpet? We saw two trucks in the parking lot this week and there was work activity in the main nave and the vestibule. The apparent result is new carpeting, free of stains and signs of wear and tear.

The flower arrangements are quite pleasant this week. For the carpeting and flowers, thanks to all involved.

Secular Mess in the World: Please note the item on page 3 in the bulletin entitled How to Get Ourselves out of the Secular Mess in the World.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


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